A revolutionary industrial development in Barking has reached a major milestone at a topping out ceremony this week.

And to see how ‘Industria’ was taking shape was Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Jared Birch of Be First and Paul Heather of builders McLaren.
Once completed, ‘Industria’ will be the first multi-storey light industrial development to be built in the UK.

Cllr Rodwell said: “Industria will be a hive of industry hosting a range of makers, shakers and creators which will provide hundreds of jobs for local people. Industria will reach new heights in business development not only in east London but the UK.”

Industria will house tenants in flexible units arranged around a vehicle accessible multi-storey hub. The experience for visitors and neighbours will be enhanced by green walls, business lounge, lively shopfronts, and a new local café.

McLaren, the main contractor delivering Industria, is managing a complex programme of works. The contracting team installed a helical staircase to offer vehicle access to the upper floors of the development, using laser scanning to overcome structural challenges and turning the building into a fully connected industrial space.

During Industria’s delivery, McLaren is creating job opportunities in the local area by employing 38 tradespeople on site and offering apprenticeships in engineering and project management to young people in the community.

Paul Heather, Group Managing Director, McLaren Construction, said: “We’re delighted to reach the highest point in delivering the UK’s first light industrial space. Our team is creating much needed workplaces for businesses to expand in and bringing exciting opportunities to the local community. Working collaboratively with Be First, our team is successfully managing rising costs in some materials on the project with fixed-priced contracts, including structural steelwork, precast concrete panels, lift shafts and stairs, composite and built-up external cladding systems for the façade and roof, helping us stay on programme and on budget to complete the scheme in February 2023.”

Jared Birch, Be First’s Deputy Construction Director said: “Although the construction industry is suffering from massive inflationary pressures like other sectors and the wider public, early prudent planning is enabling us to cope and deliver innovative developments such as Industria so we can accomplish our mission to create more jobs and homes for the people of Barking and Dagenham.”

Industria is supported by £1 million of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, delivered through the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), alongside Barking and Dagenham Council’s investment of £37 million.

Other key features include:

• Four storey core buildings arranged each side of the courtyard
• Flexible light industrial units from 1700-5200 sq. ft (160-475 sq. m) and flatted factory units from 140-2500 sq. ft (15-230 sq. m)
• Goods lifts and vehicle ramp with vehicle access across three floors
• Business centre, meeting rooms and staffed reception
• Fully glazed ground floor shop units with a cafe open to the public
• On-site parking and cycle parking
• Excellent BREEAM rating for sustainability and environmental impact
• Top quality landscaping
• An estimated 350-300 people employed on site
Industria is just yards away from 12 Thames Road, an industrial/residential hybrid development under construction in what is fast becoming known as the Factory District – a mixed-use destination that reflects the area’s heritage and combines new homes with a future-proofed industrial offer.
Cllr Rodwell said: “With Industria and 12 Thames Road we are looking to create a new Factory District which will transform a dated industrial area which will deliver jobs, modernise the local economy and provide homes fit for the future. It will be a new industrial revolution by the rivers Thames and Roding.”

The building of Industria is expected to be completed by February 2023.